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Rare WWII bravery medal awarded to local hero set for auction in Wolverhampton

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Tom Waldron with the rare WWII
medal collection

Letter from King George VI to Sgt Tamms

The rare King George VI Bravery Medal

A rare WWII George VI Bravery Medal is among a collection set to come under the hammer at Cuttlestones’ Wolverhampton Auction Rooms on Friday, 30th November. Along with a further five medals in its group, a signed letter from the King, a company photograph signed by General Montgomery, and various other fob medals and medallions, it was awarded to Sergeant William John Tamms of the Royal Army Service Corps (Stone), who hailed from Staffordshire.

Sgt Tamm’s impressive war record included spells in the British North Africa campaigns under Montgomery and the invasion of Sicily and Italy before he was drafted to serve in the Normandy D-Day landings; his actions during which were officially recognised. Tamms’ ‘Bravery in the Field’ medal was awarded for saving a soldier from a burning ammunition truck whilst under enemy fire.

Wolverhampton Sale Room Manager, Tom Waldron, explains what makes the lot so fascinating:


WWII George VI Bravery medals of this sort are very rare indeed – and this example will be of even greater significance to collectors given that Sergeant Tamms was from the Staffordshire area. However, it is other elements within the collection – such as the King’s letter expressing his joint congratulations and regret that he could not award the medal to Sergeant Tamms in person – and the signed Montgomery Company photograph – that really makes it stand out.

It is not only a great piece of WWII memorabilia but demonstrates how extraordinary people, from very ordinary backgrounds, helped change history and the fate of the world through their courageous actions. There are also WWII medal stars detailing the various campaigns Sgt Tamms served in, and a winner’s medal for the inter unit knock-out soccer competition, played at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium in 1946, that shows the effort to maintain some normality amid so much destruction. There will be collectors out there getting very excited about this lot!”    

Carrying a guide price of £800-£1,200, Sergeant Tamms’s story is sure to catch the eye of many medal collectors – and local history buffs – when it comes up for auction at Wolverhampton Auction Rooms Specialist Collectors’ sale on the 30th November. For further information, call 01902 421985 or visit

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